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Pit Bulls a Victim of Culture

MSNBC story:

The image of the American pit bull terrier was once the smiling dog living in a shoe with Buster Brown, or the lovable pooch with the circle around one eye that used its powerful jaws to pull members of the "Little Rascals" from danger.

But today, many see the pit bull as something very different: As either the center of a rural, Southern white tradition of animal baiting, or the vicious devil dog snarling on the covers of rap CDs or mauling other dogs for big-time purses, as in the recent indictment of NFL star Michael Vick.

I'm not a tree-hugger, but I guess I'd admit to being a dog-hugger. I love dogs and have had them my entire adult life. It saddens me beyond words to see what people are doing to pit bulls, and to a lesser degree, Rotties and Dobes. There's nothing inherantly evil or vicious about a pit bull, but because of the people who own them - who ARE vicious and evil - the pit bulls you most often see have been abused into insanity.

We are disciples of Cesar Millan ("The Dog Whisperer") and so we walk our dogs about a mile every day. Our usual route takes us past two homes which have pit bulls and one each who have a Dobie and a Rottie. The people who own one of the pit bulls are nothing short of criminal, IMHO -- they keep the dog on a chain that can't be more than 3 or 4 feet long and it's always out in the yard by itself. Whenever we walk by with our Australian Shepherds, he just goes ballistic. You can tell by the type of bark what the dog is thinking and this one goes completely red-zone within moments of seeing us. I've tried talking to it but no effect at all. If it could get loose, I have no doubt it would attack us without hesitation. The owners of this dog are black.

But the owners of the Dobie and Rottie are each white and they're just about as bad. When the Dobie is out, it lunges at us on it's chain and the Rottie roams around inside a fence. Probably neither of them have every been on a decent walk on a leash. When the owners do communicate with them, it's either yelling or kicking at them.

I really wish that people would take dog licensing and reports of dog abuse seriously. I'm sure that if they did, probably 75% of the attacks on people would be stopped. But now, it's just do nothing at all until some child is mauled and then kill the dog. Oh, and give the human a small fine. No biggie, he'll just buy another dog tomorrow...

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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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